If My Rack Doesn’t Give Me a Black Eye, the Catholics Will


The other day, Duluth was coated with six inches of new snow (I hate it when old snow falls–it’s all crochety and hunchy, hollers at me me to get off its lawn, and wears black socks with sandals when it mows), which means my winter attitude has been reinvigorated. See, I only hate winter when I can’t get out in it and have a proper romp. Now, the romp, accompanied by just a smidgeon of mischievous rumpus, has returned with gusto.

Indeed, since the town is soft again and not just a ginormous slab of ice covered by sleet covered by yellow ice covered by salt, I’m able to get out in it and ski and run on snowshoes, kind of like Robert Redford did down the side of a mountain when he portrayed Jeremiah Johnson in 1972, only I don’t wear big old traditional snowshoes like he did, nor do I do it down the side of a mountain, nor am I as appealing as Redford, even though I’m getting kind of craggy around the eyes and appreciate independent films.

After the snow falls, so do the temperatures. Consequently, the other day when I was snowshoe running, it was about -17, which usually isn’t a problem, since I am permanently wrapped in Nature’s Insulation, aka an extra 20 pounds, which kind of makes me, in the Very Special Place that is My Brain, a super hero lady, one whose name in the mid-summer-release movie directed by Ridley Scott would be Calorie Queen (I’d blind the bad guys by pelting them with Jolly Ranchers and then restrain them with raised-donut handcuffs).

However, that particular day, even with supplemental poundage, my haunches just couldn’t get warm. What’s more, I couldn’t feel my fingers. Thus, I was doing a tragic slogging thing where I would shake my hands down to the core of the earth really hard every, um, thirty seconds, lest I return home and have to ask my husband to amputate my pinkies with the electric knife. Which would entail us getting an electric knife. And that might be worse than amputation.

The good news, in the midst of my frozen shenanigans, was that I’d dressed reasonably. Gone are my days of wearing cotton socks and a saucy tank top–and little else–for snowshoe outings. Rather, I’m all about the wool and poly-syntheticacization and layering. On my torso alone, I sported three layers (plus one invisible mantle of evil). Earlier, at home, once I’d had all the clothes heaped in front of me, it still had taken me 22 minutes to get dressed. Had I a Mammy like Miz Scarlett, we could have whittled it to 16; if I’d had the poster of a bed to clutch, we might have taken it down to 15. Support staff or not, I had put thought and effort into my clothing.

Except, huh? Suddenly, not only was I uncomfortably chilly, I was starting to veer off course without meaning to. First right. Then left. Despite my eyes being focused straight ahead, I couldn’t run a steady line. It was like all hell had broken loose on my body.

Oooooooooooh. Hmmm. Thinking. Considering possibilities.

SHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Thinking is happening.

Wait a Jeremy Pivening moment, but it seemed someone had just undone my bra with whisper-fine fingers and the faint hope of an Emmy!

Wearing one of those front-closing zipper sports bras, with Mammy having neglected to lock down the zipper, I was experiencing boob vertigo. My head and body were all dizzy and powerless as they were directed by a compass beyond their ken.

Unfettered, the breasts were in charge.

Heady with the power, they charged me towards a stand of white pine. Then, changing tack, they whushed me towards the cliff overlooking the lake! What next? A round-off back-flip-flop, starring my nipples?

As The Breasts steered me towards a particularly precipitous drop-off, I realized it was time to stage a coup and maneuver some other part of my body to the helm.

But. Um. Frick. To rein in the breastual dictators, I was going to have to–

in -17 degrees–

when I already couldn’t feel my fingers–

unzip Layer 1,

unzip Layer 2,

unzip Layer 3,

and then do some probing.

You know what I’m talkin’ about, right, fellas? It was kind of like the time in your early twenties when you tried to “convert” that nun. You were a little numb; there were yards of fabric to wade through; and then once you got to actual flesh, your efforts were little more than random flailing (during which she crooned, “Oh, sweet Jesus” and made you huff, “What? You’re calling out some other guy’s name? Real nice, Sister Mary Agatha. I think you’ve just transmogrified my lust into a little something we Lutherans call predestined disappointment”).

Yea, trying to zip up my running bra was exactly like feeling up Sister Mary Agatha, if, in fact, my name were Sister Mary Agatha and I were feeling up my own self.

With it being -17, though, I only copped a quickie and managed to rein in The Little Sinners before the Father, the Son, or the Holy Ghost got a gander.

With a subdued chest, my brain was once again nominally in charge. Immediately, it started musing, “Hey, now I’m like Jeremiah Johnson again, here, running on snowshoes. Isn’t it funny how my friend Gretchen has a sister who named her baby Jeremiah Johnson AnonymousSurname? And now she insists that everybody, all the time, call that kid not just ‘Jeremiah’ but ‘Jeremiah Johnson’? Everyone’s too scared of her to ask exactly why she insists both names be used, but speculation has it that she thinks it contributes to a sense of quirky funky-ness and makes her one of those mythical beasts called The Hip Mama. But hell if I know what I think about this issue, what with me never having met the kid or the Faux Hip Mama, but now that I have no need to focus on my chest anymore, I’m kind of at loose ends here, and I have another half hour to run, so hmmm, tweedle-dee, tweedle-doo, is it just weird that she is so manic about the whole Jeremiah Johnson thing or what?”

What do you think?









19 responses to “If My Rack Doesn’t Give Me a Black Eye, the Catholics Will”

  1. Jeni Avatar

    Like you, I hate it too when old snow falls but then again, by this time of year -early March -I’m not all that loving about new snow falling.
    Scarlett’s Mammy would have a hell of a hard time trying to cinch me in as I am rapidly becoming the Calorie Queen of central Pennsylvania. Yes, this I know cause my scale tells me so! My scale loves me because it loves to taunt me.
    Once again, you’ve had me snickering the whole way through your post. Love it!

  2. chelle Avatar

    Yuck I am so done with winter. I need some spring weather like now. I hear it could wait till late April which annoys me … Although I am probably in a better place than you were … hehe

  3. Shania Avatar

    My goodness! You poor thing! Unfettered breasts are an extreme hazard and I’m relieved you emerged from your ordeal relatively unscathed. I don’t think I would’ve been so lucky, what with the tripping over them and all.

  4. Jazz Avatar

    I’d like, for once in my life, that unfettered breasts would cause problems. As it is, unfettered or fettered is pretty much the same…

  5. Patience Avatar

    I hate when that happens. Wait! That never happens to me.

    – I don’t wear zip up bras.

    – I don’t jog.

    – If it’s -17 degrees – shoot, if it’s anything below 32 – I am nowhere but inside where it is toasty warm!

  6. Chantal Avatar

    Thinking while running can produce some interesting results.

  7. furiousBall Avatar

    i can read posts about breasts all day long, which is what i would do if i had my own company. it could be like a service i offer.

  8. Becky Cazares Avatar
    Becky Cazares

    I’m with Jazz. No fettering required!

  9. Green Girl in Wisconsin Avatar
    Green Girl in Wisconsin

    Reading your posts is such an adventure–I’m loving your use of craggy–old snow does suck. So does new snow right now, too.
    If I had a tiny portion of your breast issues…then I wouldn’t be considering implants;)

  10. Kylie w Warszawie Avatar
    Kylie w Warszawie

    Why do you so often have bra issues? Have you ever wondered this?

    I do not use the zip up kind of sports bras. I’m all for the sqush-em-flat-as-they-can-get style of sports bras.

  11. ArtSparker Avatar

    Jeremiah Johnson something=Future corporate drone.

  12. MadameZ Avatar

    X Other: No, call him nothing but "PB & JJ". That'll show her.

    PS. I love boob-wrangling stories!

  13. Midlife Jobhunter Avatar
    Midlife Jobhunter

    I’m thinking I’m very glad I don’t live in Minnesota, or anywhere cold, any more. -17? As I recall, that’s when your snot freezes. Or is that 0?

  14. jess Avatar


  15. Voyager Avatar

    We may even get some snow here on the wet coast of Canada tonight. Now that really sucks. I will keep my bra zippedup tight.

  16. lime Avatar

    i think we need a new name for you because first of all the bravery involved in going out into -17 weather for purposes of fun is way beyond me. secondly, the way you averted disaster and successfully reigned in the twins to prevent full boobular and further personal wreckage, with frozen digits no less, (excuse me a moment but the thought of it all has just made me so cold my nipples could cut glass now) is most impressive.

    really, you are some kinda woman.

  17. citizen of the world Avatar
    citizen of the world

    Ya know what I came away from this post with? The sincere hope that not that many men have tried to “convert” nuns!

  18. Diesel Avatar

    Boobs quite frequently cause me to veer off course as well.

  19. Karen MEG Avatar
    Karen MEG

    I wear a bra when I work out for the express purpose of making it look like I have something there to hold, even though I do not. Grass is always greener… I am so ready for spring.

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